Internal jugular venous thrombosis as a complication after an elective anterior cervical discectomy: Case report

Aftab Karim, Jill Knapp, Anil Nanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Anterior cervical discectomy is one of the most common spine procedures in neurosurgery. Various complications, including hoarseness, hematoma, and dysphagia, have been reported in the literature. We report the first case of internal jugular venous thrombosis after an elective anterior cervical discectomy. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 35-year-old woman with past medical history significant only for hypercholesterolemia and cholecystectomy underwent an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion for a symptomatic cervical disc at the C5-C6 level. Intraoperatively, the patient had venous bleeding, which was adequately controlled. The procedure was completed with good hemostasis before closure. The patient was discharged home 1 day after the surgery. She was readmitted 5 days later with a 2-day history of a swollen right neck. The patient had no respiratory symptoms, but did report mild dysphagia. A hematoma was suspected. INTERVENTION: A computed tomographic scan of the neck was performed when the patient presented with cervical swelling. This was suggestive of a right internal jugular venous thrombosis. This diagnosis was confirmed with cervical ultrasound. The patient was seen by the vascular surgery department. The hospital course was otherwise uneventful and the patient was discharged 3 days later on oral anticoagulation with warfarin. CONCLUSION: This is the first report of internal jugular venous thrombosis after an elective anterior cervical discectomy. Internal jugular venous thrombosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with cervical swelling after an anterior cervical discectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E705-E705.3
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Keywords

  • Cervical discectomy
  • Jugular thrombosis
  • Neck swelling

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